Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The destruction of enemy possessions and territory was a fundamental strategy of war, serving the dual purpose of punishment and deprivation of resources. Until the 5th century BC, the Greeks had little expertise in siege warfare and relied on a strategy of devastation to draw the enemy out; they destroyed crops, trees and houses. Centuries later, the Byzantines recommended this strategy, even though they had developed siege technology. Fire was the easiest way of harrying and destroying territories, and could be done easily and quickly by small forces. It was a strategy put to good use by the Scots during the Wars of Independence; they repeatedly launched raids into northern England, burning much of the countryside until the whole region was transformed. King Edward II of England pursued one raiding party in 1327 by following the lights of burning villages.
Posted by Maqsood Qureshi at 6:39 PM